The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has criticised the decision of the International Basketball Federation to ban two Sikh players from playing in the ongoing Asian Cup basketball championship in Japan.
The players, Amanjit Singh and Amritpal Singh, were banned as they were supporting 'patkas' on their head while playing for India. The game officials had specifically cited this reason for calling off these players from the court.
Reacting to the ban, SGPC secretary Manjit Singh said here on Sunday that it was an unfortunate decision taken by the international basketball body and it had not only hurt the religious sentiments of the players but also of the community.
Wondering how 'patkas' could interfere in the game, the SGPC official pointed out that on the contrary, 'patkas' help to keep the hair of Sikh players in order.
He called upon the Sikh community worldwide to come out against this ban.
Manjit Singh pointed out that some years ago, FIFA (the world football body) had imposed a similar ban on Sikh players, but it had to withdraw it following pressure from the community.